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Utilidata Inc., a supplier of voltage optimization products, has entered into a research and development (R&D) agreement with American Electric Power (AEP). Utilidata has already deployed its existing AdaptiVolt voltage optimization solution in a number of AEP territories.

As part of the collaboration, technical and commercial leaders from AEP will support the product development work being done at Utilidata's newly commissioned smart grid simulation and research center in Providence, R.I.

Utilidata says the new facility is designed to support the testing of current and future digital control technologies to enhance volt/VAR optimization, peak demand reduction and conservation voltage reduction in an environment that can simulate real-world conditions on the electric grid.

The collaborative approach will entail looking at new areas where digital signal processing could improve utility operations, including fault indication and integration of distributed generation.

“Having our team provide a utility perspective to the developers and engineers at Utilidata’s innovative smart grid development center in Providence is the kind of approach that the industry needs to ensure that the next generation of smart grid products meet the requirements and standards that large utilities like AEP will need to address grid challenges over the next decade,” says Tom Jobes, AEP’s director of distribution reliability planning and engineering.



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